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With Almost 700,000 Daily Under-production, Nigeria, Angola Account for Half of OPEC’s Oil Supply Gap

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Almost half the shortfall in planned oil supply by the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies is down to Nigeria and Angola, Reuters has indicated.
It reflects a number of factors which have combined to hobble crude production on the continent, including moves by Western oil majors away from African projects.

OPEC and its allies, known as OPEC+, pumped 1.45 million barrels per day (bpd) – equal to 1.5 per cent of world supply – below its target in March, the OPEC+ figures showed.

According to the figures, Angola was responsible for almost 300,000 bpd of the OPEC+ supply shortfall while Nigeria was pumping almost 400,000 bpd below target. The war in Ukraine has also hit Russia’s oil trading and its output was about 300,000 bpd short of its March supply target.

The OPEC+ shortfall is one of the reasons global oil prices hit a 14-year high in March above $139 a barrel and it has prompted calls by the United States and other consumers for producers to pump more.
But OPEC has repeatedly rebuffed the calls and one contributing factor is simply that some of its members don’t have oil available to pump.

In OPEC’s view, investment cuts after oil prices collapsed in 2015-2016, due to oversupply, along with a growing focus by investors on economic, social and governance (ESG) issues, have led to a shortfall in the spending needed to meet demand.

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“There was massive underinvestment in the industry over the years, further complicated by the effect of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance,” OPEC Secretary General, Mohammad Barkindo told Reuters.

“There was a contraction of 25 per cent in 2015 and 2016 – unprecedented. There was no significant recovery before 2020, when we registered a 30 per cent contraction in investments in the industry,” he added.

Figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA) show there was no significant increase in investment in global oil and gas exploration and production during 2017-2019 – followed by a 32 per cent plunge in 2020.
International oil companies are gradually pulling out of Nigeria’s onshore oil production, although they continue to invest in its vast offshore oil and gas resources, where costs remain competitive.

Shell which has been heavily involved in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry did not immediately respond to a request for comment about investment and the reasons for the decline in Nigerian output.

OPEC’s Gulf producers led by Saudi Arabia are largely meeting their OPEC+ targets, and OPEC sources say their relative lack of dependence on outside investors has helped.

“The investment shortfall affected more the countries where reliance on foreign investment is more prominent,” an OPEC+ source from a Gulf producer told Reuters.
IEA figures show that in 2019, Final Investment Decisions (FIDs) affecting over eight times more crude reserves in the Middle East were taken than those affecting African reserves. Middle East approvals were also consistently higher from 2011 through 2018.

“Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are increasing investment and that to some extent can help offset declines elsewhere,” said Audun Martinsen, analyst at Rystad Energy.
“It also highlights why OPEC is not intervening more because it is quite hard for OPEC to increase production overnight,” Martinsen added.

Angolan state oil company Sonangol and Nigeria’s state oil firm the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) did not immediately respond to Reuters requests for comment on their production decline or the reasons for it.

According to a 2021 report from the Arab Petroleum Investments Corporation or APICORP, Middle East and North African producers were still expected to boost energy investment to $805 billion in 2021-2025 – up $13 billion on the previous year’s five-year outlook, despite the impact of the pandemic.

In February, Saudi Arabia-based APICORP said it expected rising oil and gas prices to further support energy investment in the region.

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Three Russian firms, eight others bid for Ajaokuta steel company

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Eleven companies are currently bidding for the concession of the Ajaokuta steel company, Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, has said.

He said three of the bidders are Russian firms.

Adegbite disclosed this at the presentation of the achievements of his ministry during the 9th edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s scorecard series,  held in Abuja on Thursday.

The minister said the Buhari government had been able to resolve all contending legal issues with the steel company and was in the concession process.

He also said the major issue with the company was the concession that was done in 2005 by former president Olusegun Obasanjo to Global Steel, which resulted in litigation and a demand of $7 billion by the company.

“One of the major albatross on Ajaokuta was the concession that occurred under former President Olusegun Obasanjo to Messers Global Steel Industries,” he said.

“Things went sour and they took us to court. The court case went on for about 12 years, but thanks to a patriotic Nigerian lawyer in the United Kingdom who handled the case very effectively.

“Global steel came with a demand of $7 billion, but our lawyer was able to puncture holes in their case, and at the end, they had to settle for $496 million.”

According to Adegbite, the judgement was favourable to Nigerians.

There had been issues around the payment of $496 million to Global Steel — years after the firm gave up all claims.

The minister also said the current administration had plans to make Ajaokuta Steel Company functional before the end of 2022, but for the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He, however, said that the government was still committed to ensuring that the company was given out through a concession to a competent bidder with technical and financial capacities to optimise its potential.

“We were supposed to make the plant work in 2022. One of the presidential mandates was to resolve all contending issues on Ajaokuta,” he added.

“In 2019, at the Russian-Africa summit in Moscow, President Muhammadu Buhari discussed the idea of resuscitating Ajaokuta with President Vladimir Putin.

“An agreement was reached for Russian engineers to come in for a technical audit by March 2020.

“But the emergence of the first and second waves of COVID-19 stalled the plan.

“We hope that we can give Ajaokuta to a company, not just on a concession basis, but on equity participation.”

Adegbite further said out of the 11 companies bidding, adding that three of the companies were Russian.

“We are talking of companies who intend to bring their own money into Ajaokuta to make sure that it works,” the minister said.

“The plant is still good if we put in the right amount of capital, it will start producing in less than two years.

“Government has employed a transaction adviser who will guide us through the process.”

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Don’t buy meter, transformer, wires, NERC tells electricity consumers

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NERC’s Commissioner-in-charge of Consumers Affairs, Aisha Mahmud

• Insists consumers must sign agreement for refund
Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), yesterday, in Abuja, said it remains the responsibility of electricity distribution companies to provide meters, transformers, poles, wires and other things needed for electricity supply to consumers.

NERC’s Commissioner-in-charge of Consumers Affairs, Aisha Mahmud, speaking during a three-day NERC/Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) Customer Complaint Resolution Meeting, said a lot of consumers in Nigeria are not aware of their right.

“It is not the responsibility of the consumers to buy meters, poles or any assets for the DisCos (distribution companies) because we have already provided for that in the tariff of the utilities.
“But under any circumstances that you have to purchase these items and you cannot wait for the DisCos to make that investment, we have made provision for that under our ‘investment regulation’,” Mahmud said.

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She noted that the commission will continue to educate consumers on their responsibilities and obligations, adding that there’s a regulation, and based on that, if a consumer has to purchase a transformer, it has to be done through an agreement.

She said: “The agreement should contain a dispute resolution clause and all other items that are expected of a standard agreement. What we expect from the DisCos is to use their Internally Generated Revenue to buy those assets or rather use shareholders’ investment or borrow from banks to purchase the assets.”

According to her, it’s NERC’s responsibility to educate customers on their rights and obligations and all they are supposed to know about the electricity market.
Managing Director of AEDC, Adeoye Fadeyibi, said the company will do everything possible to meet the demands of consumers.

Represented by the Head, Regulatory and Government Relation of the AEDC, Olajumoke Delonia, Fadeyibi said the idea of the forum was to address customers’ complaints and commended NERC for the initiative.

Guardian

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Naira: CBN Receives Over N500bn Old Notes

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Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Godwin Emefiele

As Nigerians count down on the official disbursement of new naira notes, the Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr. Godwin Emefiele, yesterday, revealed that the apex bank had received over N500 billion old notes as more people are working to meet the deadline. Emefiele, who stated this after a visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Daura, Katsina State, to brief him on developments in the economy, also informed journalists that the president reaffirmed his support for all decisions so far taken on the currency alteration and cashless policy decisions.

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He said in order to ensure that members of the public are not placed in a tight corner, deposit money banks (DMBs) had taken delivery of the new currencies for onward circulation from December 15. Emefiele’s meeting with the president came on the heels of National Assembly’s objection to the implementation of withdrawal limits announced Tuesday by the apex bank The CBN governor said President Buhari was happy with the CBN policy and urged him to go ahead with implementation. Asked of his mission in Daura by newsmen, he said: “I am visiting Daura to see the President, and also greet him as part of my normal briefing that I normally carry out. The briefing has been overdue and I thought he should be briefed on what is happening in central bank and the economy.

“There are so many things happening, issues bordering on currency. “Only yesterday, the new currencies have now reached the banks, and we expect the banks to begin the distribution of the currencies to members of the public and customers; and to assure the president that things are going on well about the currency and the issue bordering on cashless policy that we recently introduced.”

New Telegraph

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